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1 rane 1.1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2     <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
3 nightmorph 1.5 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/liveusb.xml,v 1.4 2006/01/24 18:32:35 vanquirius Exp $ -->
4 rane 1.1
5     <guide link="/doc/en/liveusb.xml">
6     <title>Gentoo Linux LiveUSB HOWTO</title>
7    
8     <author title="Author">
9     <mail link="brix@gentoo.org">Henrik Brix Andersen</mail>
10     </author>
11    
12     <abstract>
13     This HOWTO explains how to create a Gentoo Linux LiveUSB or, in other words,
14     how to emulate a Gentoo Linux Installation CD using an USB flash drive.
15     </abstract>
16    
17     <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
18     <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
19     <license/>
20    
21 nightmorph 1.5 <version>1.1</version>
22     <date>2006-02-12</date>
23 rane 1.1
24     <chapter>
25     <title>Introduction</title>
26     <section>
27     <title>The LiveUSB</title>
28     <body>
29    
30     <p>
31     This HOWTO explains how to create a <e>Gentoo Linux LiveUSB</e> or, in other
32     words, how to emulate a Gentoo Linux Installation CD using an USB flash drive.
33     This is particularly useful for installing Gentoo Linux on a modern laptop with
34     no CD-ROM drive.
35     </p>
36    
37     <p>
38 vanquirius 1.4 Although the instructions found in this document aim at emulating a Gentoo
39 rane 1.1 Linux Installation CD using an USB flash drive, they should work for any
40     arbitrary block device as long as you adjust the device names accordingly.
41     </p>
42    
43     </body>
44     </section>
45     <section>
46     <title>Prerequisites</title>
47     <body>
48    
49     <p>
50     In order to use a Gentoo Linux LiveUSB you need the following:
51     </p>
52    
53     <ul>
54     <li>Bootable USB flash drive (at least 64MB)</li>
55 nightmorph 1.5 <li>
56     x86 computer with support for booting from USB (with at least 64MB RAM)
57     </li>
58 rane 1.1 </ul>
59    
60     <p>
61     You will also need access to the following for creating the LiveUSB:
62     </p>
63    
64     <ul>
65     <li>
66     A computer running Gentoo Linux (or alternatively another Linux
67     distribution)
68     </li>
69     </ul>
70    
71     </body>
72     </section>
73     </chapter>
74     <chapter>
75     <title>Preparing the USB flash drive</title>
76     <section>
77     <title>Partitioning the drive</title>
78     <body>
79    
80     <warn>
81     These instructions will erase all data from the USB flash drive. Make sure to
82     backup your data first.
83     </warn>
84    
85     <impo>
86     This HOWTO assumes that the <path>/dev/sda</path> device node corresponds to
87     your USB flash drive. If you have other SCSI-like devices make sure to use the
88     correct device node.
89     </impo>
90    
91     <p>
92     Create a FAT32 partition on your USB flash drive and mark it bootable using
93     <c>fdisk</c>. An example partitioning scheme can be seen below:
94     </p>
95    
96     <pre caption="Example partitioning scheme">
97     # <i>fdisk -l /dev/sda</i>
98    
99     Disk /dev/sda: 1048 MB, 1048313856 bytes
100     33 heads, 61 sectors/track, 1017 cylinders
101     Units = cylinders of 2013 * 512 = 1030656 bytes
102    
103     Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
104     /dev/sda1 * 1 1017 1023580 b W95 FAT32
105     </pre>
106    
107     </body>
108     </section>
109     <section>
110     <title>Creating the filesystem</title>
111     <body>
112    
113     <p>
114     Create a FAT32 filesystem on the USB flash drive using <c>mkdosfs</c>:
115     </p>
116    
117     <pre caption="Running mkdosfs">
118     <comment>(Make sure you have sys-fs/dosfstools installed)</comment>
119     # <i>emerge -av sys-fs/dosfstools</i>
120     # <i>mkdosfs -F 32 /dev/sda1</i>
121     mkdosfs 2.11 (12 Mar 2005)
122     </pre>
123    
124     </body>
125     </section>
126     <section>
127     <title>Installing a Master Boot Record</title>
128     <body>
129    
130     <p>
131     Install the precompiled Master Boot Record (MBR) from <c>syslinux</c> on the
132     USB flash drive:
133     </p>
134    
135     <pre caption="Installing a master boot record">
136     <comment>(Make sure you have sys-boot/syslinux-3.00 or later installed)</comment>
137     # <i>emerge -av '>=sys-boot/syslinux-3*'</i>
138     # <i>dd if=/usr/lib/syslinux/mbr.bin of=/dev/sda</i>
139     0+1 records in
140     0+1 records out
141     </pre>
142    
143     </body>
144     </section>
145     </chapter>
146     <chapter>
147     <title>Copying the files</title>
148     <section>
149     <title>Mounting the Gentoo Linux Installation CD</title>
150     <body>
151    
152     <p>
153     Download the <path>install-x86-minimal-2005.1-r1.iso</path> file from your
154     local Gentoo Linux <uri link="/main/en/where.xml">mirror</uri> site and mount
155     the ISO image on <path>/mnt/cdrom/</path> as shown below:
156     </p>
157    
158     <pre caption="Mounting the Gentoo Linux Installation CD ISO image">
159     <comment>(Create the /mnt/cdrom/ mount point if needed)</comment>
160     # <i>mkdir -p /mnt/cdrom</i>
161     # <i>mount -o loop,ro -t iso9660 install-x86-minimal-2005.1-r1.iso /mnt/cdrom/</i>
162     </pre>
163    
164     </body>
165     </section>
166     <section>
167     <title>Mounting the LiveUSB</title>
168     <body>
169    
170     <p>
171     Mount the newly formatted USB flash drive on <path>/mnt/usb/</path> as shown
172     below:
173     </p>
174    
175     <pre caption="Mounting the USB flash drive">
176     <comment>(Create the /mnt/usb/ mount point if needed)</comment>
177     # <i>mkdir -p /mnt/usb</i>
178     # <i>mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/usb/</i>
179     </pre>
180    
181     </body>
182     </section>
183     <section>
184     <title>Copying the files</title>
185     <body>
186    
187     <p>
188     Copy the files from the Gentoo Linux Installation CD to the LiveUSB. The files
189 rane 1.3 need to be reordered a bit as we will be using the <c>syslinux</c> bootloader
190 rane 1.1 instead of <c>isolinux</c>:
191     </p>
192    
193     <pre caption="Copying the files">
194     # <i>cp -r /mnt/cdrom/* /mnt/usb/</i>
195     # <i>mv /mnt/usb/isolinux/* /mnt/usb/</i>
196     # <i>mv /mnt/usb/isolinux.cfg /mnt/usb/syslinux.cfg</i>
197     # <i>rm -rf /mnt/usb/isolinux*</i>
198    
199     <comment>(The memtest86 kernel needs to be renamed for loading it via syslinux)</comment>
200     # <i>mv /mnt/usb/memtest86 /mnt/usb/memtest</i>
201     </pre>
202    
203     <p>
204     You can now unmount the ISO image:
205     </p>
206    
207     <pre caption="Unmounting the ISO image">
208     # <i>umount /mnt/cdrom/</i>
209     </pre>
210    
211     </body>
212     </section>
213     <section>
214     <title>Adjusting the bootloader configuration</title>
215     <body>
216    
217     <p>
218     Adjust the syslinux configuration file using <c>sed</c> as shown below. The
219     <c>scandelay=10</c> parameter will introduce a 10 seconds delay before
220     attempting to mount the filesystem. This is needed to allow the USB flash drive
221     to settle upon detection.
222     </p>
223    
224     <pre caption="Adjusting the boot parameters">
225     # <i>sed -i \
226     -e "s:cdroot:cdroot scandelay=10:" \
227     -e "s:kernel memtest86:kernel memtest:" \
228     /mnt/usb/syslinux.cfg</i>
229     </pre>
230    
231     <note>
232     Consider adding <c>docache</c> to the boot parameters. This will allow running
233     <c>umount /mnt/cdrom/</c> after booting so that you can unplug the USB flash
234     drive.
235     </note>
236    
237     </body>
238     </section>
239     </chapter>
240     <chapter>
241     <title>Installing a bootloader</title>
242     <section>
243     <title>Unmounting the drive</title>
244     <body>
245    
246     <p>
247 rane 1.2 Make sure you unmount the USB flash drive before installing the bootloader:
248 rane 1.1 </p>
249    
250     <pre caption="Unmounting the USB flash drive">
251     # <i>umount /mnt/usb/</i>
252     </pre>
253    
254     </body>
255     </section>
256     <section>
257     <title>Installing syslinux</title>
258     <body>
259    
260     <p>
261     Finally install the <c>syslinux</c> bootloader on the USB flash drive:
262     </p>
263    
264     <pre caption="Running syslinux">
265     # <i>syslinux /dev/sda1</i>
266     </pre>
267    
268     <impo>
269     You will need to rerun <c>syslinux /dev/sda1</c> each time you modify the
270     <path>syslinux.cfg</path> file for the configuration changes to take affect.
271     </impo>
272    
273     </body>
274     </section>
275     </chapter>
276     <chapter>
277     <title>Using the LiveUSB</title>
278     <section>
279     <title>Booting</title>
280     <body>
281    
282     <p>
283     Insert the USB flash drive and turn on the computer, making sure the BIOS is
284     set to boot from USB. If all goes well you should be presented with a standard
285     syslinux prompt.
286     </p>
287    
288     <p>
289     You should be able to follow the generic installation instructions found in the
290     <uri link="/doc/en/handbook/">Gentoo Handbook</uri> from here on.
291     </p>
292    
293     </body>
294     </section>
295     </chapter>
296     </guide>

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